Redfin CEO responds to Seattle head tax

Dick's Drive In was established in Seattle in 1954

Amazon was foremost among several companies that criticized the new tax after the Seattle City Council approved it Monday. That's lower than when it was first proposed at $500 per employee, but it is not quite as low as the $250-per-employee compromise that was voted down on Friday.

Amazon's dissatisfaction with Seattle ups the ante for whichever city gets tapped for the company's second headquarters.

But the affected large business groups, about 600 employers that have in turn benefited by Seattle's economic boom, have opposed the legislation and have even threatened the council.

"This city continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside", said Starbucks Senior Vice President John Kelley.

"If they can not provide a warm meal and safe bed to a 5-year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction", said John Kelly, Starbucks' senior vice president of global public affairs and social impact.

About $68 million was utilized to tackle the issue of homelessness in the previous year; however, some commented that there had to be better prioritizing of monetary spending by the city if some positive dent had to be made to the burning issue. The Seattle region had the third-highest number of homeless people in the USA and saw 169 homeless deaths past year.

The city which ranked third in the country with regard to the number of homeless people had reported deaths totaling to 169 due to homelessness in the previous year. The tax will provide additional revenue.

"We must make urgent progress on our affordability and homelessness crisis", Durkan said in a statement Wednesday.

Taxes on similar lines have been introduced in other states too; however, according to critics the tax in this city could disrupt the thriving economy and affect the job situation. Amazon's share alone could bring in more than $10 million annually with its 40,000 employees.

The company expressed disappointment with the outcome. "While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council's hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here", Amazon vice president Drew Herdener said in a statement, setting an ominous tone for the company's continuing commitment to Seattle. The city does not have a revenue problem-it has a spending efficiency problem.

Before the vote, Gonzalez said the city "has an obligation to take care of the people who are surviving and suffering on our city streets". Shannon Brown, who lives in a home at a homeless encampment in south Seattle, supported the measure.

"I have no qualms putting the Seattle City Council in a hard box", Mullet said.

Socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant said May 14 of the tax: "I do think that this is is a massive victory, that in the face of Amazon and Jeff Bezos saying "no" to any tax, any tax we pass today would be a massive victory". "I'm confused about why the city of Seattle is fostering an adversarial relationship with businesses in this city".

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